Safe Ireland Welcomes First Conviction for Coercive Control by Trial

Safe Ireland said that the first conviction of a man for coercive control, intimidation and multiple assaults on his former partner by trial is a landmark judgement in Ireland.

The national agency working with 39 frontline domestic violence services across the country, said that the conviction by a jury of “peers” indicates that there is a cultural understanding of the crime of coercive control, which is a deliberate and persistent pattern of behaviour over a prolonged period of time designed to achieve obedience and create fear.

Caitriona Gleeson, Programme and Communications Manager with Safe Ireland, said that it ended any notion that domestic abuse and coercive control is an episodic or once off event.

She commended the woman for the trust she placed in the justice system. She also commended An Garda Síochána for carrying out a thorough investigation which meant that the case could be brought forward by the DPP.

“This is a landmark case in Ireland and we hope that it will encourage many other women living with the terrorising pattern of coercive control to come forward and to know that they will be believed and understood,” Gleeson said.

“This case also sends a strong message to abusive men that if they think that it is acceptable to control, isolate, intimidate or degrade a woman, as this man did on a prolonged basis, they will have to stop this behaviour, or they will be convicted of a very serious crime.”

This week Safe Ireland presented data for the first six months of Covid-19 which showed that nearly 2,000 women and over 400 children looked for support from a domestic violence service every month from March to August 2020.